To reach new heights pushing the look of the old-fashion “lady bag” further into a more appealing and functional user-centred accessory design.
The Project will develop a collection of bags with interior lighting activated when you open them using customer experience for their designs. With the added ability to charge your smart devices wirelessly, the bag will allow you to stay connected. The partnership aims to develop a collection of beautiful smart handbags: a crossbody, an iPad sized bag, a laptop-sized tote and a briefcase using new technologies such as 3D printing. The Project combines design and technology skills with outstanding craftmanship techniques.
I was already working in a tech company working on new product concepts. I saw women struggling to find things inside their bags. And I felt that there were many opportunities to make the handbag experience better with technology. In my initial research, I often asked women for a pen. While looking inside their handbags for this pen, I could observe their behavior and talk to them about how they manage to organize their handbags.
THE BIRTH OF THE PROJECT
My motivation for starting this project was to make a bag collection with a much better ‘user experience’, using ‘design thinking’. I had gained a lot of experience designing new products, I had the technical knowledge to evolve this concept. My studies in Paris and Delft gave me the perfect starting point for making an elegant design for both the bag and the technology.
THE CREATIVE PROCESS
I made hundreds of prototypes; some for testing small principles, others were prototypes of the entire bag. I tested with my sisters and friends. When I finally felt the design was good enough I started looking for a manufacturer. I looked in different places in Europe (I wanted the production nearby). After several samples, I finally found the perfect partner in Italy. They made beautiful samples which I demonstrated during the Design Week (Fuori Salone) in Milan. This response was overwhelming, the visitors were so positive and wanted to preorder the bag.
The collaboration works well, because we respect each other’s expertise. Our Pelletteria has extensive knowledge and experience in bag making and Simone’s expertise is in design and integration of technology. We are both perfectionists, so we understand each other’s high standards.
We are successfully selling our bags in our webshop and in luxury stores in the Netherlands. We’re talking to new stockists in Europe and the Middle East. We are busy working on new models to expand our collection and color range. We would like to expand our collection and add new tech-enabled accessories in the future. We believe that this is still untouched ground and we have many ideas!
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